Duke and Duchess of Sussex step back as senior members of the Royal Family

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are "stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family".

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have announced they are set to step back from their royal duties, and will work to become "financially independent" whilst still supporting Harry's grandmother and current monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

In a statement posted to the couple's Sussex Royals Instagram, they wrote: "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen."

Harry, 35, and 38-year-old Meghan - who have eight-month-old son Archie together - will be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and Meghan's native America, and the pair hope to still be able to raise their son to "appreciate royal tradition".

They continued: "It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."

The couple - who wed in 2018 - closed their message by thanking their fans for their "continued support".

They said: "We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."